I am so sorry you’re going through this battle. A few weeks ago, your life was “normal” and today, you’re starting to realize that you see me more than your family. I can’t imagine the heartache you feel watching, or even helping me hold down your precious child so I can access their central line or give them another medication. It doesn’t hurt me the way it hurts you, but it hurts me in a different way. I see the tear in the corner of your eye after your child throws up for the 4th time today. My face might not show it, but I’m cursing cancer and chemo up and down, all over again. I watch you hold your breath while your child screams for help and I’ve watched you fight back tears when I have to hang the next bag of chemo that’s supposed to save their life. Even though I’ve seen it time and time again, it never gets easier for me to see. I’ll never get used to the image of a child fighting cancer, and quite frankly, it’d scare me if I did. You asked me why I’m a little bit quieter today than usual… but I can’t tell you it’s because I can’t get some of the images out of my head I just saw down the hall. I do my best to process emotions as they come, but nothing about this job is ever easy. I try and shield you from things other kids are going through because I don’t want you to worry about them, too. You might think I don’t notice, but I know the pullout couch you’ve been sleeping on for 2 weeks straight is killing your back… but you sleep on it anyways. I want you to know I admire you and I’m amazed at your strength. I’ve heard you mumble that you’re weak and tired, but I’ve watched you pull strength from places I didn’t even know existed. You parents? You’re the strongest people I know. I don’t pretend to know how you feel, but I want you to know I’m here and that I see you. To be honest, you and your child have taught me more in the short time that I’ve known you than you could ever imagine. Because of you, I prioritize a little different. Because of you, I cherish life a little bit louder. I started this job so that I could be the one that makes a difference. I wanted to bring the sunshine, the laughter, the joy. I had no idea that you and your child would bring me all of that and more. Thank you for trusting me with your most valuable possession… I can’t imagine how scary it is to hand over complete control to a group of people you just met, but I promise we’ll do everything in our power to make your child better and get you guys home. Me and my coworkers? We were born for this. We love being your new family and we’ll do anything to make you guys smile, laugh and feel comfortable. The best part of our job? Celebrating success… it’s so desperately needed.